Nine o’clock on a summer night is just about dinner time for many Icelanders, which could very well explain how shockingly (or maybe not so shockingly) sparsely populated Iðnó was for the first act: Just Another Snake Cult. There was a mixed bag of folks, ranging from grandparents to tourists. Composed of eight members, the nearly genre-less band has been described as ‘freak pop,’ focusing more on the ambivalent sounds of the keys and sax rather than a steady drum beat (freaky!).
Ásgeir Trausti was next to claim the stage, followed by Lay Low, and by the end of this third act the audience had increased by six fold. Both acoustic acts inspired a group of sentimental-looking younger folk to sit in a semi-circle in the foreground and copious amounts of swaying in the background. Couples were especially highlighted during these moments. Both executed rather formulaic performances with their agreeably soothing voices and soft energy as the main attraction. However, the drummer for Lay Low delivered some incredible solo bits that were way too far and few between.
Moses Hightower’s performance continued the “hotel lobby chillin” feeling or rather the “shopping at Anthropologie on a Tuesday” vibe. However, this band does Icelandic lounge quite well and brought the swaying to the next level whilst playing their biggest hit “Stutt skref” (“Short Steps”).
After what seemed like a four-part opening act, Þú og ég took the stage with a vengeance. I didn’t see it coming, but they delivered a powerhouse performance with only four songs! This late seventies disco band had every person singing aloud, clapping, groovin’, pulling at, what seemed like, basically everyone’s heartstrings. The audience was a perfect reflection of the pop stars’ execution—a cathartic release of pent-up excitement that had been building for what seemed like decades (maybe it actually was in their case?). They provided the climax of the night, as Tilbury maintained the fervor to the evening’s end with a synthpop dance routine. Overall, a success, and it really was oh so sweet.